Brinjal Pakora/ Aubergine Fritters

A Boris Johnson, but any aubergine will do. (Photo Hakim Cassimally)
  1. (a) Basic

(i) The batter

1 1/2 cup gram flour (200cc). AKA besan

1 cup water (150 ml)

Pinch of baking powder

High BP oil like sunflower, rapeseed or corn oil (not olive oil). The best is rice oat oil!

1/2 teasp salt

Black pepper to taste.

Mix thoroughly until batter is smooth with no lumps, and flows freely.

If batter is too thick, add one tbs water at a time and stir

If batter is too thin, add small quantities of gram flour through sieve and stir

(ii) The aubergine (c.200g)

Cut aubergine into circular discs about 1/2 cm thick (20 slices).

Put in bowl with 1 tsp salt, and mix thoroughly, aiming to get all pieces salted uniformly.

Leave in bowl for 2 hours.

You will find the slices in a small pool of brown water, drain.

Place slices on a tea towel for drying.

Heat oil in a wok until it gets quite hot. One drop of batter should sizzle when dropped in.

Dip one slice in batter, holding it between the tips of your thumb and index finger. If it’s well prepared, there will be some but not too much dripping. Avoiding spillage, drop gently in hot oil. Use a long fork or stick to push frying aubergine to one side, and gently drop second piece. I usually have 4–6 frying simultaneously. Turn them round, often more than once, until both sides

Brinjal Bhaji getting ready (photo author)

are golden brown. Place finished product on kitchen paper.

(b) Advanced

You can modify the basic recipe, by adding spices, herbs, chillies, garlic etc to the batter

Don’t overdo this as you might ruin the consistency of the batter.

I use cumin seeds, mixed herbs, crushed garlic, sometimes spring onions cut very fine, as well as green chillies, green coriander.

Another way of salting the cut aubergine would be to coat both surfaces individually with salt, by dipping a moistened finger in salt and applying this gently to both sides.

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Prizewinning playwright. Mathematician. Teacher. Professional Siesta addict.

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San Cassimally

San Cassimally

Prizewinning playwright. Mathematician. Teacher. Professional Siesta addict.

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